I have been anticipating this day for 9 months, but I still can't believe this is heart is completely shattered.

I had my cat Marley for 16 long, loving years, and in April of 2019 he was diagnosed with cancer.  The doctor said he had 2-3 weeks...but then he bounced back, and kept bouncing back and forth between being his old needy, lovable and snuggly self, to what seemed like him going down the path of knocking on death's door. 

It has been so draining, but I just couldn't let him go, I had to do everything I could before taking the next step. He's always by my side and I work from home, so we were attached at the hip.

But in this process of continuous anticipatory grief for months...I also became afraid of leaving home or traveling, fearing that I might return to the worst. I am relieved he's at rest, but I'm heart broken and I miss him so terribly. My entire adult life was spent with him -- the longest I was ever away from him was 4 days.

I developed a routine of giving him supplements, medication, making sure his food was the best possible diet for his condition, monitoring his urine and stool...and cleaning up vomit. He'd throw up and his energy would suddenly return, like he wasn't sick at all. His longest stretch was two months without throwing up, then it progressed to weekly, then multiple times a week at the very end.

It was exhausting...but I'd do it all again because I love him more than anything else in this world.

This last month, he became weak and started showing signs of the end. It broke my heart. His moments of energy and normalcy became fewer and far between.  He was still loving and happily purred when I pet him, but I had to start picking him up and carrying him with me, as well as presenting him with water/food multiple times a day in addition to his other routines.

The day he stopped eating, I knew it was time to make the call.  He'd always been so food motivated, it was heart-wrenching to see him refuse it. 

We originally scheduled Dr. Brown to come 3 days out, but he quickly declined further and I knew that I needed to take action before his body failed him. So we had it scheduled for this morning, one day after my call. 

The last few days, he also began hiding from me, which I know from reading others' stories this is pretty normal near the end, but being as attached and ever-present as I was with him and he with me, it absolutely shattered me.  I would seek him out, and he would weakly get up and go to another hiding spot. 

For his last night, I secluded him and myself to our spare bedroom where he couldn't hide, made a bed of blankets on the floor, and placed him on it. For two hours, he layed next to me...eyes open, and distant, but always staring at me. 

In those two hours, I talked to him. The whole time. I spewed my stream of consciousness to him -- going over the memories we made, telling him how sorry I am for every stress I ever put him through like leaving home for extended work hours, all his vet visits and surgery, every time I had to move him to a new house...everything.

Most importantly though, I told him I will miss him, I love him, and that it's okay that he has to go.

Then this morning, it was apparent that I had made the right call to bring Dr. Brown over sooner. He threw up a ton of bile all over the bed, floor, and himself. Then when we put him in the spare room where we would say goodbye, he urinated on the blanket. He'd never EVER done that up until today.

The process with Dr. Brown was honestly the best that I could have ever asked for. She was so kind, compassionate and cried with us. She answered all the questions I had, and helped us through.

I laid in front of him with my hand on him the whole time, our eyes locked together while I told him how much I love him and that it's okay. I wanted to make sure he knew I was there, until the very end. 

This pain is the worst I have ever felt, but my logical brain knows that this couldn't have gone any better. He was ready today, and he went in peace with me by his side. 

I don't know if I'll ever get used to life without him. :( RIP, my baby Moo.
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I am so sorry for your loss and the pain you are going through. What a beautiful baby Marley was. You were such a good Mom to her. I myself had been doing most of the things you were doing to take care of my dog Peanut until that day in Nov when I had to put her down. Hugs to you
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Dear Victoria,

I am so sorry for your loss. But I am so glad that for 16 long and loving years your boy knew that he was loved by you, and that you knew that you were loved by him. In each of your words you can easily tell that he meant the World to you. I am heartbroken for you. Now we here on the forum know of your beloved Marley and will remember him. We are with you in spirit and comradship sweetheart. You are not alone.

Kind regards and my sincerest condolences,
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I am so very sorry for your heartbreaing loss of Marley. Your life and total connection to Marley is familiar to me as it was the same with my Rocky and me. Today is 7 months since I lost my Rocky and my heart is still broken. From your message I can see we have many similar experiences. We are fortunate to have our loving kitty companions and share beautiful unconditional love but when it is time for one to move on, the pain is unbearable. This Forum has many wonderful people who have lost a loving companion and are here to help and give support. I am so thankful to all of them. I hope you will find the same compassion here.

Wishing your Marley a peaceful journey to the Rainbow Bridge where I hope he will meet up with my Rocky and Rascal as well as Marmalade, Milo (Bubby), Talyn, Pal and so many more.

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Michelle Kinkaid
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I’m so sorry for your loss of Marley. Hugs to you.
Linda *Mom to two boxer angels* Lily {White Girl} 6/22/09 - 10/14/19  ** Ginger {Flashy Fawn Girl} 6/4/97 - 5/28/09
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I am so sorry, MarleyMoo. When I read this:

"I developed a routine of giving him supplements, medication, making sure his food was the best possible diet for his condition, monitoring his urine and stool...and cleaning up vomit. He'd throw up and his energy would suddenly return, like he wasn't sick at all. His longest stretch was two months without throwing up, then it progressed to weekly, then multiple times a week at the very end.

It was exhausting...but I'd do it all again because I love him more than anything else in this world."

I began to cry because I've felt the exact same way - most especially with two cats I most recently lost. One had some urinary tract/defecating issues that we had finally gotten a handle on. He passed away from what I believe was a stroke of some kind. Unavoidable. Then of course, seeing my beloved Diego having seizures from a tumor behind his right eye was nothing I'd wish on anyone - or any pet. For 20 months beforehand I'd been caring for him for what we all thought were "allergies". Some of the medication he was given weeks before the seizures started gave him loosened stool. Every time the poor guy went to the bathroom (Always in his cat box, bless his heart.) I'd have to clean up his backside and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

I feel blessed to be there to care for them (and for all the kitties I've had the pleasure of living with) and receive their unconditional love. Isn't it amazing that even in the depths of pain and discomfort they still purr for us? Unconditional love. They are "in the moment" and responding to our love of them. What a blessing.

I don't think we ever get used to losing a cherished pet. They're always there with us. They always will be. Marley knew/knows you loved/love him unconditionally.

My thoughts are with you.
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I am so sorry for you loss! You loved your baby until the very end and that is so beautiful. You could hear the love you have for him when I read your post. He was lucky to have a momma like you. I truly understand how hard it is and how lonely you feel and how empty the house is. I pray you find comfort in and strength and please know that your baby is watching over you and peaceful now. Sending you big hugs!
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I am so sorry for your loss.   We had to put our beautiful Teeka dog, who had been with us for 18 years, to sleep Monday night.  I would have given my soul to have kept her safe and healthy or to make sure she got to heaven.  Similarly, I had watched the decline for about a year.  She developed the dog version of dementia.  It was so devastating to watch her personality change.  Her needs changed and I began to spend more and more time tending to her as well as all our daily interaction.  I wouldn't leave the house.  I would not go out to visit with friends, etc. I felt guilty for leaving for any amount of time even though my son was home. I work from home so we were attached at the hip. 

I knew the day would come and had been depressed and holding and crying over her often for the last year.  I cried myself all through my birthday in late December and Christmas knowing it would our last together.  She had still been able to get around and totter around the house, even if tentatively.  It gave her pleasure to walk, but then last week she was not able to do that.  I went to the vet, we tried things and I cried literally all weekend agonizing over the decision.  The thoughts of having to put her to sleep just was unbearable.  Now the guilt is unbearable.  Intellectually I know it was time and for her best as I did not want her to suffer or be in pain, but emotionally I feel I let her down and took her to the vet where she was so afraid to go.  Even though in the end she no longer recognized the vet's office.  Driving to the office, I was beyond a mess.  The animal hospital was so understanding in the end she had a peaceful passing. 

 Still.   Oh my god.  I laid in her bed on the floor and just sobbed last night.  

So you are not alone although I know that is so little comfort. We gave them unconditional love and we loved them enough to ease their suffering.   I pray for both of us that time may heal the grief and we can remember all the good times.   
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Will ... and all,
Sorry for your loss. I also work many hours from home so was very attached. I too agonized over having had to put my companions to sleep. It is so very depressing. I am told by many that it is the loving and compassionate thing to do but it just tears me up inside ... so very devastating. I pray for us all and appreciate the compassion of this Forum.
Michelle Kinkaid
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